A little while ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a food preparation workshop tailored to a cancer patient seeking help to turn her diagnosis around.
The woman in question was frank about the different factors she believed had contributed to her condition, and her unhealthy diet was but one of many. Not only did she engage in a number of unwholesome habits, but her life had been characterized by one toxic relationship after another. Despite all this, she readily admitted to the obvious need to overhaul her eating regimen, starting with the simple step of eliminating animal products in favor of plant foods.
An animal-free diet can include all sorts of delicious foods, from cakes and pastries to lasagna and omelette. In this case however, we encouraged our friend to focus on foods which cleanse the internal systems and fight disease while providing powerful nutrition to nourish all the cells of the body.
Here are some basic tips we put together to help demystify the subject:
· Shop the Produce Aisle. Meat, dairy and eggs are all known to feed cancer as well as heart disease and many other health conditions. Whole plant foods are exactly the opposite, actually healing instead of harming.
· Eat Organic as Much as Possible. Conventional produce can contain multiple chemicals that aren’t welcome in a body that is trying to heal. If organic food is outside of your price range, check out these tips to help minimize your exposure to toxins.
· Think Simple! Minimize refined, processed foods, and focus on whole, fresh, raw foods, which are cleansing, hydrating, alkalizing and nourishing. Salads and smoothies (especially green smoothies) can form the basis of your healing regimen. If you are not prepared for a completely raw diet, try to limit yourself to whole cooked foods such as squash, sweet potatoes, steamed or baked vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
· Flush and Cleanse. Fiber and water are two of the reasons that plant foods are so cleansing. Fiber actually ‘sweeps’ the intestinal walls, causing the body to clean out harmful toxins that can otherwise remain trapped. Water, as we all know, helps the cells of the body to clean themselves.
· Eat From the Rainbow. Look for deep, rich, vibrant colors – they signal the presence of antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals with powerful healing properties. Keep an eye out for foods with high levels of vitamin C, as it has been shown to be healing on many different levels, including targeting cancer cells.
· Make New Food Friends! Certain foods are known to have remarkable healing properties as well as packing a powerful nutrition punch. The brassica family (which includes kale, cabbage and broccoli), berries, sprouts (especially broccoli sprouts,) and lots of dark greens should all be on your team. If you’re fortunate enough to have access to Nature’s superfoods, some of these are believed to help strengthen the body’s own healing mechanisms from within.
· Avoid Refined Sugars. Many professionals believe processed sugar is recognized by the body as a drug, rather than a food. Satisfy your sweet tooth with whole fruits rather than sugar, which also feeds cancer cells. If you’re really having a craving, try fresh Medjool dates as a treat. (These can also be soaked overnight and blended with berries – fresh or frozen – into a delicious ice-cold drink.)
· Explore Nature’s Medicine Cabinet. There are a myriad of plants and herbs that help tone the body’s natural systems and promote healing. Look it up! You might be surprised to find out what remedies you already have growing in the garden, or what can be easily sourced nearby. We’ve seen miracles occur with healing plants.
Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal from even life’s most serious challenges. Whether or not you are able to implement “the perfect nutritional regimen,” there have been numerous cases where individuals have recovered from life-threatening diseases by doing nothing more than simply eliminating animal products in favor of vegan foods. The basic rule is to stop attacking yourself with poisons, and give your body the nourishment it needs to fight disease on its own.
Gentle World is a non-profit educational organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. Visit www.GentleWorld.org for more information.